A Cook County judge denied prosecutors' motion Tuesday, Jan. 8, to raise or revoke bail for the former Chicago Ridge deputy fire chief accused of the attempted rape and murder of his Tinley Park neighbor.
Judge Peter Felice say he didn't see a reason to change the order of Judge Adam Donal Bourgeouis who gave Gary Swiercz, 49, Swiercz has since posted bond and was released on electronic monitoring.
Swiercz doesn't have a criminal background, except a domestic violence case that was dismissed 16 years ago, Felice noted, and the defendant has voluntarily moved out of his Tinley Park condo to stay with relatives in Worth.
Swiercz, who was earlier placed on indefinite leave from his position as deputy fire chief with the Chicago Ridge Fire Department apparently put in for retirement on Monday, is accused of wearing a ski mask when he allegedly broke in to his neighbor's apartment in the early morning hours of Jan. 5. He was reportedly carrying a knife, rope, zip ties and duct tape. Prosecutors said in previous reports that Swiercz put a knife to the victim's throat and then tried to sexually assault her. They said he left the apartment after a scuffle with the woman.
On Tuesday, Assistant State's Attorney Amari Dawson asked Felice for a no bond order or to increase the bond with special conditions.
Presenting a summary of the alleged incident, Dawson said the victim smelled alcohol on the intruder. She also said Swiercz had admitted to police after he was read his Miranda rights that he had entered the woman's apartment with the knife and "realized in the middle of it" that he was a public servant and "shouldn't be doing it," which is why he fled. Dawson mentioned the existence of other evidence but she said didn't want to share it at the time.
Dawson said Swiercz poses "a real and proven threat" to the public. She told the judge Swiercz and the neighbor only knew each other in passing.
However, Swiercz's attorney, Colleen McSweeney-Moore balked at the request, and pointed out that Swiercz has had no contact with the victim since the alleged incident and that he is a civil servant who was honorably discharged after six years in the U.S. Army.
"In less than 48 hours, a judge not only heard the proffer made by the state, he also heard the mounds of mitigation," McSweeney-Moore told Felice. "Since then, absolutely nothing in the evidence has changed."
Felice apparently agreed with the defense, but did grant the state some of the special conditions requested. Swiercz will have to surrender his passport, any firearms, his firearm identification card and is to have absolutely no contact with the victim.
He is scheduled to be back in court to be formally charged on Feb. 7.
McSweeney-Moore has said in previous interviews that prescription drugs may have played a role in the alleged incident but declined to comment further after Tuesday's hearing.